Jacksonville, Fla. (March 12, 2015) – Students at 13 elementary, middle and high schools in St. Johns County collected 8,815 pounds of canned goods for Feeding Northeast Florida (FNEFL) as part of the nonprofit agency’s 500,000 Can Challenge.
The schools were among many businesses and community organizations that set up collection boxes at their locations to collect very specific canned foods that are being requested by the 150 food pantries and charities served by FNEFL– specifically more canned fruits, canned vegetables, pop-top canned meats and peanut butter.
“Our member food pantries are always short of these high-value items, and the students really took that to heart in collecting for the food drive,” said FNEFL President and CEO Bruce Ganger. “We were overwhelmed by how much food these students collected and very grateful for their help.”
Participating schools included Crookshank, Cunningham Creek, Hickory Creek, Osceola, Ocean Palms and Wards Creek elementary schools, Landrum and Switzerland Point middle schools, Patriot Oaks Academy along with Bartram Trail, Creekside, Nease and St. Johns Technical high schools. Based on pounds collected per students, the top three schools were St. Johns Technical High School (first place), Hickory Creek Elementary (second place) and Creekside High School (third place).
“The real winners are the St. Johns County residents in need and the philanthropic organizations that assist them,” said Megan Laubacker, community partnership coordinator with the St. Johns County School District. “We look forward to working with Feeding Northeast Florida in the future to continue the fight against hunger.”
Ganger said communities throughout Northeast Florida have “taken ownership” of the event, which will be an annual, community-wide event.
Ganger said communities throughout Northeast Florida have “taken ownership” of the event, which will be an annual, community-wide event. Although the agency didn’t reach its goal, collecting nearly 50,000 cans of food by the end of the event on Feb. 26, Ganger said the agency plans to build on what they learned to generate more teams and engagement in the food drive when it kicks off later this year.
For more information, visit the home page at www.feedingnefl.org , or join in the 500,000 Can Challenge on Facebook or Twitter.

About Feeding Northeast Florida
Feeding Northeast Florida (FNEFL) distributes food to people who struggle to feed themselves and their families across 17 Northeast Florida counties through a network of more than 150 nonprofit, faith-based and charitable organizations. FNEFL is an affiliate of Feeding America, a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks that lead the fight against hunger in the United States. The most recent localized survey from the 2014 Hunger in America report shows that 38,000 people are served each week by programs supported by FNEFL. To donate, volunteer or find out more about eliminating hunger in Northeast Florida, visit www.feedingnefl.org or contact 904-513-1333.